Happy Ending for Ailing Twin Whose Sister Got Dad's Liver

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The Wagner family is celebrating the successful liver transplant that saved their 3-year-old daughter Binh, after her twin sister got a donation from their dad. (Photo: Facebook/Liver Transplants for our Vietnamese Twin Girls).

Two months ago, Michael Wagner, 45, was able to donate part of his liver to his adopted 3-year-old daughter Phuoc Wagner who suffers from a fatal genetic disorder called Alagille syndrome which affects the liver, heart, kidney. Trouble is, that left Phuoc’s twin sister, Binh, without a donor, which she also desperately needed.

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“We promised the twins, on the day we first saw them in Vietnam back in November 2012, that we would do everything we could for them,” their mother Johanne Wagner, 45, writes on her blog. “I was determined to fight to the very end for them. And I did. We fulfilled our promise,” adding that Michael and Phuoc’s transplant surgery on Feb. 10 “marks a victory for our family.”

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Michael and Phuoc Wagner in February (Photo: Facebook/Liver Transplants for our Vietnamese Twin Girls).

But waiting to find out whose donation would save Binh was like “watching the kettle, waiting for the water to boil,” Johanne admits.

The Ontario, Canada parents — who have nine children in total, four of whom are adopted — had launched a Facebook page to share their story and worked with Toronto General Hospital to try and find the toddlers transplant matches.

Nearly 500 people contacted the hospital to offer portions of their liver to the girls, and on Monday, the family joyfully revealed that a few weeks ago Bihn underwent a transplant similar to her sister’s, after an anonymous donor stepped up.

“[The donor] was incredibly brave to come forward, and give an incredible gift and put his life on the line for someone they never met and change our lives forever,” Michael said in a press conference.

“Binh is recovering well, at her own pace,” Johanne shared on Facebook Tuesday. “She has been through a lot with very different medical issues from her twin …[But] we are looking forward to all being reunited and leading a healthier life now, with both transplants finally behind us.”

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The sisters in a photo posted March 9 (Photo: Facebook/Liver Transplants for our Vietnamese Twin Girls).

The toll such an experience must have taken on the family is enormous, Jonathan Alpert, a psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days, tells Yahoo Parenting. “If only one had been able to be saved, then likely feelings of anxiety and to some extent survivor’s guilt, would have dominated,” he says. “Fortunately the outcome is much different. Both children survived and are healthy, so there must be overwhelming feelings of happiness, relief, and gratitude.”

Moving forward as they all heal in their different ways, family therapist Paul Hokemeyer tells Yahoo Parenting, they could “use this as opportunity to unite them selves in gratitude, for the generosity of their family and the community and the marvels of my medical technology.”

Please follow @YahooParenting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Have an interesting story to share about your family? E-mail us at YParenting (at) Yahoo.com.

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